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|Thank you to Michelle for allowing us to share her very informative article on living with a child who has ADHD. We hope you find it as helpful and informative as we have.|
Living With a Child Who Has ADHD
By Michelle Horstman | Date Submitted: 01/25/01
LIVING WITH A CHILD WHO HAS ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) By Michelle Horstman
It seems like everywhere you turn, you meet a family who has at least one member who has been diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD. It can be a very frustrating situation for the entire family and even add a lot of stress to other relationships within your family if you let it. At the same time, these bright, energetic and creative children add so much spice to your family!
First of all comes the diagnosis. Many parents are offended or reluctant to accept the suggestion that their child may have ADHD. It is important not to let such feelings interfere with getting a qualified diagnosis and help, if needed. This is a very common disorder and certainly nothing to be ashamed of in any way. In fact, many of our highest achievers and most inventive minds are thought to have had ADHD. The most important consideration is to seek a specialist (preferably a psychiatrist that is board certified in child psychiatry) to get an accurate diagnosis. The longer this is put off, the higher the chance that the child will lag farther behind at school and develop poor self esteem.
The next step is in how you choose to treat the condition. This is a controversial subject, as many parents have felt their children were helped tremendously by prescriptions, while others prefer to try a different approach, including behavioral techniques, supplements and more. There are many wonderful sites on the internet with a wealth of information on all the options. (See end of article for suggested links). Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for more information on any of the many options available.
Another big factor in the whole picture is how siblings and parents view and work with their ADHD child. Self esteem is vital, and can be easily shattered in a child with any type of learning disability. It’s important that you or your doctor explain the condition to siblings, so they will have a better understanding of why their brother (sister) does the things they do. It is also a real support for parents to join a local or email support group, where you can share ideas and learn that you are not alone. It is amazing what a big difference this can make.
Now, how about you? Being a parent of an ADHD child, I know first hand the amount of stress they can add to your everyday routine. It seems like they are constantly into something, talking nonstop, climbing up a tree (backwards) and many other things to keep you on your toes. I believe that the more you learn about the disorder, the less stressful these things will be. Finding the right treatment for your child will also help reduce these everyday stresses.
In closing, I congratulate you on having a wonderful, creative bundle of energy at your house. I hope some of the links included will help you make it work well for the whole family.
From web site visitor Sarah Wahlberg:
"I have been using your page with information on attention deficit disorder ( http://www.ocsitters.net/adhd.html ) as a reference guide...It's a great page; thanks for making it!
I thought I would send you an additional page that you might want to add. I found this gem when I was looking for websites to add to my syllabus: http://www.healthline.com/channel/add-adhd.html
I really liked the page - I hope you do too! "